Today we are speaking with Graham Mocsari of Quovadis-diaries.co.uk, which has the largest selection of Quo Vadis products in the UK and ships worldwide.
My father started selling Quo Vadis diaries when they first arrived in the
UK in the sixties when they were represented by a chap called Ian Johnston,
who, I believe, left the stationery trade to do missionary work in China!
My father’s main business was “visual planning” a sub-section of the
stationery trade that is now almost obsolete, charts, stickers and magnets
to plan just about anything, obviously rather obliterated by the arrival of
the computer. So Quo Vadis diaries were not the bread and butter of the
business but always there as a useful sideline.
I used to work for my father during school holidays so I probably started
packing and posting out Quo Vadis diaries in my teens and after University I
worked for him full time until I took over the business and made it Mocsari
Visual Systems in my early thirties. I took the business away from visual
planning towards supplying audio visual and training equipment (hence the
name) but Quo Vadis remained an important part of the business mix.
Then in 2000 I thought it might be a good idea to try selling Quo Vadis
diaries online. My first experience was putting the products into a “virtual
shop” where the owners took a percentage, a business model that soon looked
out of date as businesses rapidly put up their own e-commerce enabled web
sites that didn’t pay commission to a third party, but if you think about it
this is exactly the model that Amazon now uses!
My first online sale was to the Cayman Islands. I have to admit that at that
time I had not even entertained the idea of selling beyond the UK, whereas
now around 15% of all sales are outside the UK with regular customers in
Australia – you can’t get any further away than that – tucked away corners
of the world like Papua New Guinea and Mongolia and even selling back to
France and the USA where the diaries were manufactured!
After the virtual shop came our first e-commerce enabled web site and we’re
now on our second software platform and the site is upgraded with new
features every couple of years, the latest additions being a filter for new
customers to search for their ideal diary layout and, of course,
compatibility with mobile devices.
Quo Vadis sales went up exponentially for a few years until they virtually
took over the business.
We try to stock everything Quo Vadis that we can, mixing in some US product
along with the UK range available from France. We also have many customers
buying non-UK/English language editions, which we buy in specially for them.
Over the years I’ve seen editions come and editions go but the big sellers
are always the old favourites: the Septanote for academic/mid-year users,
the Business in the pocket range and the Minister outsells everything else
as the most popular Quo Vadis diary.